Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Chicagoan Bo Diddley was the first to put Chicago on the map as a rock and roll hotspot when he landed his first #1 single in 1955. The “British Invasion” officially arrived in Chicago with the Beatles’ summer 1965 show in Comiskey Park, and the sound was carried on with Beach Boys-inspired groups like the Buckinghams through the late ‘60s.
Hugely popular ‘70s groups like Styx, Chicago and REO Speedwagon all launched their careers in Chicago.
In the early ‘90s, Chicago gave birth to alternative rock icons the Smashing Pumpkins and Wilco, whose influences on emerging bands continue to be seen worldwide. Liz Phair, Veruca Salt, Ministry, Smoking Popes, Wesley Willis, Alkaline Trio, Shellac, Tortoise and Andrew Bird are just a few of the other artists representing the dynamic Chicago rock scene.
Take a look at the show listings for Schuba’s (3149 N. Southport), Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western), Subterranean (2011 W. North), the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia), Double Door (1572 N. Milwaukee), Metro (3730 N. Clark) and Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie) to catch everything from the best local punk bands to up-and-coming indie rock groups.
Big-name rock bands frequently make tour stops in Chicago and can be found at one of the city’s several stadiums.